The internet has become a huge part of our lives in today’s society, whether it’s communicating with peers and sharing photos of daily activities or staying current with the news and even performing work tasks. However, there are many crimes that are committed online.
The following are the most common cybercrimes in New Jersey:
- Child pornography – While child pornography has existed prior to the birth of the internet, the world wide web has made such illegal material easily available for possession and distribution. Possession of child pornography is a fourth-degree felony in New Jersey, punishable by a maximum 18-month prison sentence and a fine of up to $10,000. Distribution of child pornography is a second-degree felony, which carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a fine no more than $150,000.
- Online solicitation of minors – Predators can easily pretend to be teenagers online in order to convince real teenagers to meet up and commit sexual contact, whether consensual or nonconsensual. However, undercover police officers also pose as minors on the internet to encourage adults to engage in online chats. Enticing or luring a minor through the internet is a second-degree felony in New Jersey.
- Identity theft – Without proper security measures, an individual’s personal information can be easily stolen by hackers. The stolen information could be used to commit forgery by making purchases in another person’s name, creating false credit cards, or simply stealing money from a person’s bank account. If a victim loses less than $500, identity theft is a fourth-degree felony. If a victim loses $500 or more, it is a third-degree felony, punishable by a prison term of up to five years and a maximum $15,000 fine.
- Scams – From social security scams to “Nigerian prince” schemes, “phishing” is an e-mail fraud method that uses legitimate-looking e-mails to obtain personal and financial information from an unsuspecting recipient. Scams can result in identity theft or simple theft charges.
- Cyberbullying – Social media and other online forums are at the center of today’s interactions on the internet, whether it’s good or bad. When it comes to the bad, cyberbullying involves threats of violence and other forms of verbal abuse. Cyber harassment is a fourth-degree felony in New Jersey.
If you have been accused of an online crime in Bergen County, call (201) 574-7919 to request a free consultation with Brickfield & Donahue today.